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2014 Karaoke with Ken Wrap-Up, with Photos!

The invitation

The invitation

This year’s outing to The Republic of Texas on San Antonio’s Riverwalk was a smashing success. Between 40 and 50 folks joined us for an evening of singing, camaraderie, and all-around-fun! The venue provided plenty of space and comfortable seating, and the karaoke DJ had every song we requested. Among the many performers were Fran Norton and Wendy Moore as the new Sonny and Cher with “I Got You, Babe;” Rich Leiter with Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire;” Dan Blackaby and George Taoultsides and another gentleman* with Cash’s “Folsum Prison Blues;” a group of young ladies doing Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back;” and Jason Sowards on Taylor Swift’s hit, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Bonny Shucha and I duetted to Elton John and Kiki Dee’s “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart;” Bonnie was much more faithful to Kiki than I was to Sir Elton. I was especially thrilled to take my first try at John Legend’s “All of Me” and to again sing Rufus Wainwright’s rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Another large group of ladies did Cindi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun.” And audience member Susanna Leers rocked out too!

*There were many more singers and if you want to add your name and song to my list, feel free to let me know! Here are some photos and links to videos courtesy of Cindy Bassett, Meg Kribble, Beth Holmes, and Fran Norton.

Rich sings "Ring of Fire."

Rich sings “Ring of Fire.”

Happy audience members include Bonnie and Susanna

Happy audience members

Fran and Wendy Got Each Other, Babe

Fran and Wendy Got Each Other, Babe

Ken opens with "Hey There Delilah"

Ken opens with “Hey There Delilah”

Ken, Gail, and Caroline starting out the evening.

Ken, Gail, and Caroline starting out the evening.


Jason channels Taylor SwiftJason channels Taylor Swift

A Quintet Does "Baby Got Back."

A Quintet Does “Baby Got Back.”

Dan, George, and a Friend are stuck in Folsum Prison.

Dan, George, and a Friend are stuck in Folsum Prison.


Jason and Austin having a good time.

Jason and Austin having a good time.

Darth Vader takes a selfie with Cindy and Bonnie.

Darth Vader takes a selfie with Cindy and Bonnie.

Bonnie takes a bow.

Bonnie takes a bow


Ryan does his number.

And a bonus: videos of Susanna Leers rocking to our Bruce Springsteen at the table and the AALL ladies singing “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”


2014 “CS-SIS Karaoke with Ken” on the Riverwalk

Greetings fellow karaoke goers. The venue we used when AALL last met in San Antonio in 2005 is no more, so this year we move to the Republic of Texas restaurant at 526 River Walk Street. The restaurant is a half-mile walk from the Marriott Rivercenter, this year’s headquarters hotel. The singing festivities begin at 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 13. There’s a special treat this year: as one of her last “official” acts as President-Elect, Holly Riccio has promised to join me in a duet.

For those of you unfamiliar with the karaoke experience, please check out our backgrounder.

Hope to see you in San Antonio!

1-Ken back

1-Ken with sign


Fill Out Our Playlist: AALL 2013 Karaoke with Ken Wrap-Up

About 40 AALL attendees — some from the east who were beyond sleepy — came out for this year’s event! We had a great time at the Hula Hula Tiki Bar in Seattle. One lesson learned: beware the accompanying video on Foreigner’s “Cold as Ice.” This year I’d like to build a playlist of our participants. If you were there and sang, please put your name and selection in a comment below. Thanks for helping make this year’s event a success, and I look forward to seeing you in San Antonio next year!


2013 CS-SIS Karaoke with Ken in the Emerald City

Greetings fellow karaokers. (To coin a word; maybe if we use it enough…) Karaoke artist or performer is the accepted term for the proper among you. This year in Seattle we descend upon the Hula Hula Tiki Bar (before you click, be warned that their image of a Polynesian woman may be NSFW) at 9:30 PM on Saturday, July 13. The venue is located at 106 1st Avenue North, Seattle, and is about a ten-minute walk from the Seattle Center Monorail Station. It’s also about a mile-and-a-half from the headquarters hotel.


Tina Ching adds that there are public transit options using the 1, 2, 13 or D buses. “They pick up just 3 blocks away from the Sheraton on 3rd avenue between Pike and Pine. $2.25 each way. It should only take about 15 minutes. Just as a warning, it’s not exactly the friendliest bus stop in town, but it is Saturday night so there should be lots of folks around and a police presence. Those from big cities will think it’s nothing.”

I’ll be heading over from the hotel lobby between 8:45 and 9. I encourage anyone looking for a fun evening to join us. If you’re new to the karaoke experience, check out the backgrounder. Thanks to Tina Ching and Zach Gose for suggesting the venue!


Karaoke with Ken 2012 – Wrap-Up

About fifty karaoke fans came out for this year’s CS-SIS Karaoke Night, held at the Elephant & Castle Pub and Restaurant in Boston. There were many able performers keeping us well-entertained.  I hope I won’t offend anyone by omitting names, but two I especially liked were Jackie Prentice, our resident Lady Gaga channeler, performing “Yoü and I” ( I was late and missed her earlier numbers), and Toby Shucha doing both the Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias parts on “To All the Girls I Loved Before.” I thought he even might do both voices at once for the duet parts! There were many other terrific numbers, and I regret we didn’t have someone keeping a playlist for us.

The venue itself was great, with plenty of room and a good bar. The playlist was varied, but shortly after we started the DJ turned up the volume past 12, never mind 11, and the music was literally deafening. Nevertheless, I believe most of us had a terrific time, and a few hardy souls were still there when I left a 1 A.M.!

Earlier I put out a call for photos on Twitter, but the only one I’ve seen was one of me on the AALL conference blog, and we’re really looking for photos of other participants. So if you were there and took any, please let me know.

Next year we’ll do it again! Tina Ching and the local arrangements committee have already given me the lead on what promises to be another great venue. See you in Seattle!


Karaoke Night at AALL – 2012 Event Details

CS-SIS invites you to join us again for the premier AALL karaoke outing!  This year’s venue will be Elephant & Castle Pub and Restaurant, 161 Devonshire Street, inside the Club Quarters Hotel. We’ll gather in the lobby of the Sheraton Boston (HQ hotel) on Saturday, July 21, at 9:00 PM, and then head over to the pub.  We have a group reservation for 9:30.  If you need to come later, e.g., those going to watch the game at Fenway Park,  just meet us at the pub.

View at Google Maps

Travel options include a cab from the hotel, the T Green Line from Prudential Station to Park Street, or walking the 2 miles for the more adventurous.

Please come along for an evening of music and fun!


2011 Wrap-Up

Between 40 and 60 attendees from the annual meeting descended on McGillin’s Olde English Ale House for this year’s karaoke outing. I was happy to be joined by my wife, Lisa,  and elder daughter, Kimberly. McGillin’s, just a couple blocks away from the Marriott, the main conference hotel, was plenty loud even before the singing started. Borrowing the theme from AALL Battledecks the day before, their sound system indeed was turned up to at least 11. Conversing with a table mate was virtually impossible. The volume levels were reduced slightly once the karaoke started, about 20 minutes past the scheduled 9 PM hour.

Highlights of the evening included the trio of Bonnie Shucha, Debbie Ginsberg, and Meg Kribble channeling the Pointer Sisters Sister Sledge on “We Are Family;” Jackie Prentice of Eos International getting on her Lady Gaga with “Bad Romance,” and Kimberly singing Lita Ford’s “Kiss Me Deadly.” I know that I’ve omitted many others here, both because I did not keep a list and I left relatively early, at 11:10.  So if you want to recognize other performances from the evening, simply add your comment below.  And if you’ve got photos to share, add the links in a comment.

Next year the annual meeting will be in Boston, and you can bet we’ll post the details for Karaoke with Ken 2012 edition here next May.


Karaoke Night at AALL 2011 – Event Details

Join us as we celebrate ten years as an officially sponsored CS-SIS event! This year our karaoke venue will be McGillin’s Olde Ale House, a venerable Philadelphia establishment not far from the convention center and hotels.  McGillin’s and its predecessors have been operating since 1860! Karaoke will be masterfully provided by DJ Joe H. We’ll gather in the lobby of the Philadelphia Marriott (HQ hotel) on Sunday, July 24, at 8:45 PM, and then head over to McGillin’s.  If you need to come later, just meet us at the pub.  Below is a Google maps link, and directions kindly provided by Merle Slyhoff, who also helped find our venue this year.  McGillin’s own map is here.

View on Google Maps

Text Walking Directions:

Exit the Marriott on to Market Street.  Turn right and go to the corner of 13th and Market (first .  Cross Market Street (heading south on 13th).  Cross Chestnut Street (first light).  Drury Street is about a half block past Chestnut.  It is one small block on your right – turn right to 1310 Drury.  If you get to Sansom Street on Chestnut you went a few steps too far and Drury street will be behind you.

Update:  Meet-up time at the hotel is moved up to 8:45 PM so we can get to McGillin’s at 9.